|Hamilton leads 4-car parade to win in Monaco|
It's so hard to pass on the streets of Monaco that Mercedes ace Lewis Hamilton held up a train of 4 cars almost the entire race to win the Monaco GP in what amounted to a parade.
The only thing missing were the floats. Max Verstappen was 2nd on the road but a 5-second penalty for an unsafe pit release moved him back to 4th at the finish.
Sebastian was 2nd for Ferrari and Valtteri Bottas 3rd in the 2nd Mercedes.
Vettel's second place ends the Mercedes one-two dominance that has grabbed the headlines this season so far.
"We tried to stay there, put the pressure on, stay in range - I struggled with my rear tires, mine were just not getting hot which made it a bit tricky. We know we've got work to do, we are not yet quick enough."
Third place Bottas had a 2nd place ruined caused by an unsafe release by Verstappen that cut Bottas' tire.
"Disappointing weekend for me, the speed was there. The small margins yesterday made today difficult."
Gasly finished 10 second behind the front four in fifth, while McLaren’s Carlos Sainz drove a fantastic race to finish ahead of the two Toro Rossos of Daniil Kvyat and Alex Albon, with 2018 Monaco winner Daniel Ricciardo and the Haas of Romain Grosjean completing the top 10.
Today was one of the hardest races of my career, it was so intense. With 20 laps left I thought there was no way I was going to make it to the end. I thought I was going to crash, I was battling so much with the car. There was absolutely nothing left in the tires and it was so tough to keep the car on the track. I thought to myself, 'what would Niki do'. I was trying my hardest - giving everything I had. I just tried to stay focused and make no mistakes. I know he was watching me today, but with Niki by my side we managed to do it. I wore his helmet colours today and I didn't want to let him down. He was close to my heart, I really wanted to deliver for him this weekend and I was determined not to crack under the pressure. Today belongs to Niki.
My race was decided in the pits. We did a double-stacked pit stop under the Safety Car, Lewis first, then me. Vettel and Verstappen came in as well and when I left the pits, Max was released at the same time and was side-by-side with me. We touched, I hit the wall because there's no space to go and I got a right-front puncture. So I had to do another pit stop the following lap. At that point, I thought I'd be at the end of the field, but I only lost a couple of places, so I guess I was unlucky but lucky at the same time. It's always disappointing if you finish the race lower than you qualified; however, my pace was really good all weekend long and I still scored valuable points for me and the team. One of my first thoughts this morning was that I wanted to drive well for Niki, I wanted to win for him. Ultimately, I didn't, but Lewis did, so I'm sure Niki would be proud right now.
That result means a lot. It was a World Champions' drive for a World Champion that isn't among us anymore. It couldn't have been a more dramatic race, so I am relieved it is over. Lewis did an incredible job out there, it was a really hard-fought race with Max. We know the tire choice, in hindsight, was wrong with Lewis and we should've taken the Hard tire at his stop. But, these things happen and at the time we thought the Medium was the right call. It was the driver who made the difference and managed the race. Valtteri had a tougher time, losing ground with the pit stops and the clash with Verstappen in the pit lane, but he did a great job and will be determined to fight back. This one was a really hard-fought victory and now we have a couple of days that are going to be difficult with Niki's funeral in Vienna before we set sail for Canada.
We wanted to win this race for Niki but winning in Monaco is always much easier said than done. There was a bit of a risk of rain early in the race and while it didn't really turn into much, it meant that we were pushing a bit harder than we'd planned to build a bit of a gap to the midfield. The Safety Car was earlier than we would have liked and with hindsight, we should have fitted the Hard tire, but we were concerned about the warm-up on the restart, which was why we took the medium. That obviously made life difficult for Lewis and we'll review our decision making and the information that we had at the time. We're grateful that Lewis was able to manage it so well to the end as he really had to work for the victory today. Valtteri's race was also compromised at the Safety Car. We felt the release from Red Bull was ok, but Max had room on the left to give Valtteri more space rather than putting him into the wall. That broke the front right wheel rim and caused a puncture, so we had to pit for a new set. From there his opportunities were rather limited. The car had good pace, but you simply can't pass here and Valtteri had a frustrating race stuck behind Vettel. It was some consolation that Valtteri was able to get back on the podium after Max had the time penalty applied. Well done to Lewis, we made life more difficult than we needed to for him today, but our thoughts are now with Niki and his family. He has been such a big part of this team over the last few years, we have benefited so much from his wisdom and straight talking, and he is simply someone who cannot ever be replaced. All he would have asked of us is to give it 100% and race hard and that's what we will do.
“It was a tough race today but, in the end, second is a great result and I am happy for the team that we got a podium finish on such an iconic track as Monaco. We were also able to benefit from mistakes of other people today, but that’s part of this game. When I was following Lewis, who was struggling with his tires, and Max chasing him very closely, I saw that they touched and for a brief moment I even kidded myself I might win it!
We know we have a lot of work to do so today we are happy, but not entirely happy.”
Mattia Binotto Ferrari Team Principal
“Given that he started fourth, Seb’s second place is definitely a good result on a track where it’s well known that overtaking is very difficult. He ran at a good pace throughout the race and did an excellent job of managing the tyres, which wasn’t an easy task today. Charles had a strong start, knowing that he’d have to fight his way up the order after his race was compromised by what happened in yesterday’s qualifying. It was a good getaway, but being aggressive always carries a risk. He pulled off some nice passing moves, but on his last one, maybe he tried just a bit too hard. But that’s the right attitude. He proved that he is not the sort to ever give up or surrender. So it was a race of mixed fortunes and now we are already preparing for Canada.”
|4||33||Max Verstappen||Red Bull Racing Honda||78||+5.537s|
|5||10||Pierre Gasly||Red Bull Racing Honda||78||+9.946s|
|6||55||Carlos Sainz Jr.||McLaren Renault||78||+53.454s|
|7||26||Daniil Kvyat||Scuderia Toro Rosso Honda||78||+54.574s|
|8||23||Alexander Albon||Scuderia Toro Rosso Honda||78||+55.200s|
|10||8||Romain Grosjean||Haas Ferrari||78||+61.034s|
|11||4||Lando Norris||McLaren Renault||78||+66.801s|
|12||20||Kevin Magnussen||Haas Ferrari||77||+1 lap|
|13||11||Sergio Perez||Racing Point BWT Mercedes||77||+1 lap|
|14||27||Nico Hulkenberg||Renault||77||+1 lap|
|15||63||George Russell||Williams Mercedes||77||+1 lap|
|16||18||Lance Stroll||Racing Point BWT Mercedes||77||+1 lap|
|17||7||Kimi Raikkonen||Alfa Romeo Racing Ferrari||77||+1 lap|
|18||88||Robert Kubica||Williams Mercedes||77||+1 lap|
|19||99||Antonio Giovinazzi||Alfa Romeo Racing Ferrari||76||+2 laps|